20 Legal Terms in Spanish: Learn Legal Terms with Chunks

God forbid you get into a situation where you need a better understanding of legal terms in Spanish.

Maybe you’re just strolling through a bustling city, and someone tries to rob you. And then, you have to explain what happened. But you don’t have enough knowledge of Spanish legal terms.

No matter what, it’s important to know the key legal terms in Spanish – especially if you get in an uncommon situation as a tourist.

In this blog post, Effortless Conversations aims to equip you with a comprehensive list of essential Spanish legal terms. Let’s go, and enter the Spanish courtroom!

The legal systems in Spain and most Spanish-speaking nations are based on civil law. The legal system primarily relies on comprehensive legal codes and statutes rather than judicial precedents.

The judicial branch typically has a hierarchical structure, with the Supreme Court at the apex.

Thus, judges play a more active investigative role in trials, examining evidence and questioning witnesses. Legal professionals, such as judges, prosecutors, and attorneys, undergo years of training and must meet specific educational and licensing requirements.

legal terms in spanish can be used in court rooms

Legal proceedings usually involve written submissions, oral arguments. And of course, all of this is based on closely following the legal codes and principles.

But, as Effortless Conversations is not a legal blog, we don’t want to give you any more advice other than this short intro about legal systems. It’s also important to mention that these system may vary in different Spanish-speaking countries. So, best to check out the rules and of course, follow them!

(No need to get in trouble, right?)

And now, let’s see the 20 legal terms in Spanish and how you can use them in real-life conversations when you need them.

1. Ley / Leyes – Law / Laws

La ley debe aplicarse por igual a todos los ciudadanos. (The law must be applied equally to all citizens.)

2. Juez / Jueza – Judge

El juez escuchó atentamente los argumentos de ambas partes. (The judge listened attentively to the arguments of both parties.)

3. Abogado / Abogada – Lawyer / Attorney

El abogado presentó una sólida defensa para su cliente. (The attorney presented a strong defense for his client.)

4. Fiscal – Prosecutor

El fiscal pidió una sentencia severa para el acusado. (The prosecutor asked for a severe sentence for the defendant.)

5. Acusado / Acusada – Defendant / Accused

El acusado negó enfáticamente los cargos en su contra. (The defendant emphatically denied the charges against him.)

La sentencia del juez fue apelada por la defensa. (The judge’s sentence was appealed by the defense.)

7. Juicio – Trial

El juicio duró varias semanas debido a la complejidad del caso. (The trial lasted several weeks due to the complexity of the case.)

8. Declaración – Statement / Testimony

La declaración del testigo fue crucial para el veredicto. (The witness statement was crucial to the verdict.)

9. Prueba – Evidence

La prueba presentada por la fiscalía fue contundente. (The evidence presented by the prosecution was compelling.)

10. Delito – Crime / Offense

El delito de robo a mano armada conlleva una pena de cárcel. (The evidence presented by the prosecution was compelling.)

11. Cárcel – Jail / Prison

El convicto cumplió una condena de cinco años en la cárcel. (The convict served a five-year prison sentence.)

12. Multa – Fine

Se le impuso una multa por exceso de velocidad. (He was issued a speeding ticket.)

legal terms in spanish on paper

13. Condena – Conviction

La condena por fraude fiscal resultó en una pena de prisión. (The tax fraud conviction resulted in a prison sentence.)

14. Apelación – Appeal

La defensa presentó una apelación ante el tribunal superior. (The defense filed an appeal to the superior court.)

15. Testigo – Witness

El testigo fue citado para declarar en el juicio. (The witness was subpoenaed to testify at the trial.)

16. Veredicto – Verdict

El veredicto del jurado fue “no culpable”. (The jury’s verdict was “not guilty”.)

17. Jurisprudencia – Jurisprudence / Case Law

La jurisprudencia establecida por el Tribunal Supremo sienta un precedente. (The jurisprudence established by the Supreme Court sets a precedent.)

18. Código – Code (e.g., Código Penal – Criminal Code)

El código penal define los delitos y sus respectivas penas. (The penal code defines the crimes and their respective penalties.)

19. Contrato – Contract

Las partes firmaron un contrato vinculante. (The parties signed a binding contract.)

20. Divorcio – Divorce

El divorcio fue finalizado después de un largo proceso legal. (The divorce was finalized after a lengthy legal process.)

Practice legal terms in Spanish with Practice Worksheets

Fill in the blanks with the correct legal term in Spanish!

Do you want to practice more? Click the button and gain access to our Full Practice Worksheet!

To effectively learn and retain Spanish legal terms, consider the Conversation Based Chunking approach.

This method breaks down vocabulary into manageable chunks within conversational contexts.

Rather than memorizing words one by one, you’ll learn terms like “juez” [judge], “abogado” [lawyer], and “prueba” [evidence] through practical dialogues and scenarios where you might use them

Immerse yourself in the language and in realistic legal exchanges, gradually building your comprehension and ability to use these terms accurately.

Conversation Based Chunking makes learning legal terminology a breeze. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now and get your first Spanish Conversation Based Chunking Starter Pack!

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